I can't think of a possible explanation, there's no volcanic activity in the area, and it gets destroyed every time a hurricane passes through. How did it get there?
4$\begingroup$ Have you had a chance to read the Wikipedia article on barrier islands? $\endgroup$– njuffaJan 29, 2021 at 22:03
$\begingroup$ That answered my question, thanks. $\endgroup$– Finnegan MantheJan 31, 2021 at 19:13
1$\begingroup$ @njuffa Maybe you could turn this into a short answer for future readers? $\endgroup$– Jean-Marie PrivalFeb 1, 2021 at 13:09
The outer banks are, literally, a textbook example of what are known as Barrier Islands. They are thought to be formed through interactions between sediment undergoing longshore drift, coastal currents and seabed irregularities, but to spite a number of theories being put forward since the 19th Century we really don't understand their formation.
We do know that their ongoing behaviour makes them analogous to underwater sand dune systems in that:
- the material in them is constantly on the move.
- their form is controlled by the prevailing conditions.
- they offer a degree of protection to the landscape on their inland side. and
- they are vulnerable to drastic alteration during extreme events such as storms or tsunamis.